In spring 2015 Natural England will formally launch the new Low Impact Bat Class Licence. The licence will cover works that have low impacts on certain bat species and roost types, but which still need a licence. Registered Consultants will be able to obtain these licences in only a third of the time taken for a standard mitigation licence.
The new Licence will cover the disturbance, capture of bats and/or damage or destruction of bat roosts of low conservation significance (i.e. feeding perches/roosts, day and night roosts), affecting no more than three of the more common species of bats present in small numbers. The seven species included within the remit of the licence are: common and soprano pipistrelle, brown long-eared, whiskered, Brandt’s, Daubenton’s and Natterer’s bats.
A benefit of being a Registered Consultant is the reduction in the application process – meaning a quicker turnaround time for clients. The turnaround time for the new Licence is 10 days as opposed to 30 days. During trials in 2013, NE reported savings to developers of over £180,000 and 444 weeks in possible delays to development.
Natural England have selected around 75 candidates to date. All must complete a two day workshop in April before becoming a Registered Consultant and getting a unique registration number which can be used to register each site before undertaking any licensable works.
For further details please contact Jenny on 01225 876990.